She Spit on The Table! Repost

The world of microbiology was opened up to me in college.  
 Bacteria!  They were everywhere, especially in the mouth!   Through the years, I have worked in a few different disciplines, but have always gravitated back to the dental field. Needless to say, I developed a penchant for cleanliness!
I was one of those mothers who made sure my children’s hands and faces were always clean. While five little noses were judiciously wiped, and coughs or sneezes covered, it was unthinkable that other mothers could be so totally oblivious to the snot-bubbles sliming their children’s faces. 

Others had no problem whatsoever picking up their baby’s pacifier from the ground, putting it in their own mouths and sucking it clean, before delivering it to a screaming baby!  Didn’t they see what was on that thing? Ugh!  My germ-alert immediately roared and my stomach rebelled!  Of course, spit-washing a kid’s face was totally out of the question for me!

Not that I turned my children in to clean-freaks or anything, but a healthy appreciation for a more hygienic environment was developed.  I must say, we suffered fewer incidents of illness than many of my friends’ children.

Even with our favorite game of bowling, we were careful to wipe down the borrowed balls and shoes handled or worn by anyone who had to rent equipment. 

One evening, after a hard day at home-schooling, I rewarded my children with a surprise trip to the bowling alley!  Excitement ensued when they found out that we’d be eating there as well. Busy as it was, we all crowded around one little table in the restaurant area.  It was a mess!  We cleared it the best we could and waited for one of the high-school girls to come over. Nuts!  It appeared that they were all getting off at the same time.  Finally, when no one came, we went to the counter and requested a wipe-down. 

courtesy photobucket.
Minutes later, a scruffy, frizzy-haired lady with rounded shoulders, sporting the overall look of an unkempt backwoods mama, sauntered up to our table.

“S-matter”, she croaked as the putrid smell of stale smoke offended our nostrils.

We showed her the table.   Struck with horror at what happened next, my kids’ faces froze in disgusted revolt.  You know, I could have sold those looks to a sci-fi show!

Our scroungy waitress whipped out an old, well-used red kerchief from her backside, spit on the table and began to wipe!  She really worked at it.  She spit again!

Gasping, the kids instinctively drew back, eyebrows raised!  The woman studied the table, turned on her heel headed for the kitchen doors as if everything was okay now!   

“Maaawwmmmm —- Ewwww….”, was all the kids could say.  I was dumbfounded.  Was that lady for real?

Poor thing.  I think she was!  I also think that it was probably the only job she could get.  It distressed greatly me to think that she might also be handling food.

Appetites gone, the kids and I lost no time.  We gathered our stuff and bolted down to our reserved alley!   A few minutes into the game, they forgot all about the incident. 

Not me! I kept rolling it over in my mind.  Cootie-lady could certainly use some prayer.  I wondered if God asked me to hug her right then, if I could do it.  I concluded that I could, but I would have to run right home and shower.  It’s funny now, but those were serious thoughts for me then!

For years, it was a joke at our house whenever someone was asked to wipe down the table before a meal. 

“Sure”, they’d say!   “I’ll just spit on it!”

Jesus healed a blind man’s eyes.  He spat in the dirt, made mud, put it on the man’s eyes and then told him to go wash.   You know, I’ll admit, I have really had to consider whether or not I would have allowed Him to do that to me.

Spit?  Dirty mud?  On me?   That would have taken some concerted effort on my part!

We all have filters through which we view things.  God has brought this simple
incident to my mind many times when I faced  a challenge that abused my senses …..or even my sense of civility.

Once, while I was handing out food and clothing, a very smelly woman staggered in front of me and purged herself on my shoes.  Later, some people mentioned to me that the way I handled myself, and her, showed God’s Grace to everyone else waiting in line. Honestly, it was all I could to keep my own lunch down.

Years ago, a pastor declared, “Nancy you will hug the leper.”

Shuddering at the thought, I recoiled from his words.   I never did well with putrefying smells!   Have I learned?  Yes.   That doesn’t mean that it ever gets easier, but obeying God does, and He provides His Grace for the situation.  

So you may wonder……Have I relaxed a little since then?

Not on your life! 

I like things clean and sterile!  BUT…God has energized both my husband and I to enter the lives of the not-so-lovely now and again, so that they can see Jesus.   

I just keep the baby wipes handy!!
This post has been linked with Joan Davis at: Sharing His Beauty

Also shared at:  “Tell Me a True Story”


Look at Ugree Man, Momeee! Repost

image courtesy

Shopping at the Bakery Outlet store once a month was great fun for me, and for my small son, Aaron!  I am not sure exactly why he’d get so happy once I plunked him into a cart, and began wheeling throughout the store, but he did!  His little legs kicked in delight when we came to the hostess cupcakes.  Although we rarely got many of those snacks, he had a good memory!

Aaron was an observer and didn’t garble like a lot of small children.  He was bright and could talk from an early age, demonstrating an excellent, understandable vocabulary by 18 months.

Cupcakes!  His smile brightened as I put one package in the cart.  He giggled and squiggled happily as more bread and treats were placed in the cart.

Then, the little smile turned to a look of horror!  He became dead still, and pointing, squealed loudly,

“Lookee, ugree man, momeeee!”

My heart sped up and I felt the heat creeping to my face.  Even though I wanted to, I didn’t dare to look around.  Before I could even think, my son immediately repeated himself even more loudly!! 

I grabbed his little arm and pushed his finger down, admonishing him to be quiet!  As I did, a man passed by with his cart.  A horribly blotchy, raised birthmark covered half of his face like some eerie, ill-fitting mask.

Aaron’s eyes were wide open in amazement  … and again, with the pointing!  I grabbed him.

“Choc-cat,” he yelled, “He gots choc-cat on face!”

My stomach churned.  Where was that door, anyway?  I felt like running!

I couldn’t look at this poor fellow!  I just pretended to tend to my child.  I was busy trying to stuff a Twinkie into his mouth so he couldn’t SAY anything more.

The man started to laugh!  He said a couple of things which I’m sure were conciliatory, but I was still too caught up in myself to process what was being said.

While I’m not so sure his words actually helped ME at the moment, I experienced modest relief.  I was able to get through the checkout stand, albeit my cheeks were still burning.

Pondering this later, I wish I had been able to say something clever to the gentleman.  Instead, all I was thinking about was me and how embarrassed I was.

What about him?  I am sure he faced numerous unkind-nesses all throughout his whole life.  Evidentially he had learned to be resilient, and appeared to have become settled in himself.  All things aside, he seemed to be sorry for me at the time, his gracious behavior revealing a handsome inner person!

Hmmm.  And….… he had a pretty wife.  I remember her smile.

These thoughts rushed over me recently when, in church, I noticed a man with a large purple birthmark covering nearly half of his face.  He and his beautiful wife walked into the restaurant where we were with our kids after church.   They seemed to recognize us.

We smiled and nodded at them.  I asked God to bless Him….and, to bless that other man if he was still around. 

Nothing and no one is perfect!

Graciousness, kindness, sympathy, compassion, thoughtfulness, consideration, understanding toward others; these entire can go a long way in ameliorating the hustle-and-bustle of life!

This post has been linked with Joan Davis at: Sharing His Beauty

Also shared at: “Tell Me a True Story”

The Morning Speaks

The Morning Speaks

Avian singing begins,
The night receding fast
While over the land, gentle winds awake
The morning’s here at last!

                             Dawn’s blushing rays peek through, 

Sifting the trees and leaves

Then lighting the hills, softly they wake
And stir the gentle breeze

Gently now they stroke
The earth with great delight
And dancing with glee, rousing the world
They chase away the night!

Breathe it in, savor the new
Delight in blessings giv’n
For staying in awe, brings marvels anew
A little taste of heaven!

God’s great glory shines forth
It doesn’t miss a beat.
Creation’s own song, is in each heart
And draws us to HIS feet!
7/20/12    Nancy Kehr

This post has been shared with Sandra at:  Still Saturday
And with Michelle Derusha’s Graceful Summer 

Locked in a Dark Garage

Dark Garage – courtesy

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 Locked in a Dark Garage
The door slammed and the turn of the lock kept click-clicking in my ears.  Darkness engulfed us and I wanted to cry. It was the second time today and it was getting disheartening.
The tears threatened to flood my face, but I couldn’t let the other two kids hear me sniffling. They were a lot younger and maybe more unsure and frightened than I was.
Three bowls with the familiar dry O-shaped cereal sat on a small card table.  My eyes had adjusted a bit and dim shapes began to materialize.
“Let’s count the O’s as we eat them!”  I tried to sound cheerful!  “We’ll make it a game!  …And then we’ll play hide-n-seek.   We’ll have lots of fun and there’s nobody to bother us!”
The little kids were pretty good sports.  Still, when you’re only three and five and you are abruptly shoved into a dark garage while the door is locked behind you, it’s hard to be brave. 
“Bafroom. . . ”, the little guy muttered after we eaten our “meal”, and had tired ourselves with some imaginative play.
Oh No!  What could I do?  I didn’t want to knock on the door.  There had been a warning about that.  If he messed up his pants, his legs would get whipped and I would also be in big trouble.  It wasn’t fair!
Ears throbbing, and teeth hurting from clenching, I was already was shifting from foot to foot myself, to avoid my own accident.   Oh well, there was no choice!  I knocked.  Nothing.  Again.  Still nothing. 
Where was “Aunt” Sonny, the foster mother?   Probably just taking another nap.
Fear clutched at my heart. Disturbing her meant a tirade and not doing it might make things even worse.
My arm circled my little brother, and in my most consoling voice I whispered, “Try to hold it a little longer.”  I counted to one hundred so many times I lost track.
Soon whimpers from both of the little kids meant I HAD to do something.  After all, I was the big sister – a whole six years old!  My fists beat the door, accompanied by squeals and screams from the other kids.
Nearly falling into the room, I managed to gather myself to my feet.
“What’s all the commotion?” asked “Uncle”  Chuck, as he pulled the door wide open.  “Where’s Aunt Sonny?”
“Why are you kids out there in the dark?”  
The tears ripped down my cheek and the other kids joined me.   He frowned but gave us a hug and let us go to the bathroom. 
Through the walls, muffled, but harsh voices could be heard.  The louder voice was his.
Pretty soon, an apologetic foster mom came to see if we were “okay”.  She sounded sincere, but her eyes told a different story.  My stomach started to hurt again. Her iron clutch tightened on our arms, nails digging into our flesh.
“Okay now, you children get cleaned up,” she chided in this strange falsetto.
It would be okay for a while, but as soon as HE left, there’d be issues.
Why?  Why?  Why!  
Previous inquires had been met with a sour, “…because your father doesn’t pay me enough, that’s why!”  
I didn’t get it!  Why wouldn’t she call him to come get us if we were SO much trouble!  I had asked to call but was never allowed to talk to him.  Unpredictable weekend visits by my father brought guarded joy, and we always begged him to take us home.  Salinas was a long drive from the San Francisco Bay Area in California, so he could not make the trip often. He was torn between us and a wife who was hospitalized in San Francisco.
Not wanting to draw any more flack, we tippy-toed quietly to the little bunk bed we all shared.  Maybe we’d be invited to the dinner table for a real meal tonight since Uncle Chuck seemed to be home for the rest of the afternoon. My brother was thirsty.  So was I.
We could only hope. 
At least Uncle Chuck was kind.  
The gentle morning light revealed the sparseness of our room. Involuntary shivers drove sleep away and made me sit up abruptly. Overtaken with the pain of a sudden realization, a myriad of emotions ushered in the tears. I sobbed in disbelief.
 Apparently, exhausted from coping with the events of the day before, we had fallen asleep in our clothes while we waited for dinner.  I doubt very much if anyone checked on us either.  Shoes still on, we lay atop the blankets.
Utter disappointment shrouded my little soul and I sobbed bitterly.
My stomach growled. 
“Where are You God?  Please help!”  It was all I could manage. 
 The little kids were still asleep.  I couldn’t bear another dark day in the garage.
“Kids…”  It was Uncle Chuck’s voice.    
God heard.
  This post has been linked with Joan Davis at: Sharing His Beauty

 This post is also shared at: Tell Me a True Story”

She’s on Empty! (Repost)

drawing courtesy

Lively singing and clapping engulfed us!  Nearly everyone around was fully engaged in the music.   We were visiting a church out of town, and although the music was new to us, it was not difficult to catch on. Just a wonderful day to worship God, spirits were high!

Ornamented with high dollar clothing, expensive purse and boots, the woman next to me was in full motion – whooping and hollering at the top of her voice.  Okay – – so she was making her form of a “joyful noise”.  The fact that she kept bumping into me was a bit distracting here and there, but I lived!

Once we were all seated, and the Pastor began speaking, she commenced fanning herself with her hand, as if she were about to faint!   She nodded her head vigorously and rocked back and forth while muttering , “Oh yes” – – – ”MMMM-hmmm!”

The more the pastor spoke about the importance of leading a calm, unhindered life and exercising self-restraint, the more she rocked and agreed. 

The admonishment was for people to be alert and watch how we respond to situations so that we are not pressured, or scared, out of our purpose in life.

The woman’s rocking motion intensified!  Her head shook and her “MMMM-Hmmm’s” got louder!  She was hilarious and downright entertaining.  I had to work to restrain a laugh.

“Wow”, I thought to myself.  “She is one on-fire ball of energy!”

While I am not quite that demonstrative, I realize that there are all kinds of personalities out there.  Overall, it seemed like this woman had a handle on the whole wide world!

After being startled by one of Action-Woman’s whoops, I tried to turn my attention back to what was being addressed and take a few notes.  With all her rocking, I think I was suffering a little from motion sickness myself! 

I said a small prayer for her. Maybe it was more for me, I don’t know….

Just before the service ended, I had a chance to give this woman a hug and spoke a few encouraging words in her ear. She seemed surprised!  That’s when I knew.

 A strange feeling crept over me and I felt a gentle nudge inside – – – ”She’s on empty!” 

The pastor voice punctuated the moment as he asked if anyone needed prayer.  When he elaborated about needing prayer for the removal of bad influences, inappropriate associations, or other hindrances to a peaceful life, the “MMMMM-Hmmmm“ lady about fell all over her son, stumbling past the people next to him as she beat a path to the front!  Startled family members and friends stared at her in amazement!

I chuckled to myself for a moment, and then I was hit with a thought. I had felt a little silly giving her the type of encouragement that I had, but I did it just the same.  All things being considered, I guess one can never really know just how much the effect of gracious words might have on someone else – – – even if they don’t “seem” to need it.

As I gazed around, I wondered just how many other people were sitting there looking like they had it all together, but were actually riding along on fumes because they were “Sitting on EMPTY!”

This post has been linked with Joan Davis at: Sharing His Beauty
This post is also shared at: “Tell Me a True Story”
I do hope you are also enjoying reading as many stories as you can and giving your comments.

Consolation: Leveraged Mercy

image courtesy
What can I say?  This present world is broken!
There is so much going on that is taking its toll on all of us in one way or another, it’s heartbreaking!  So many people seem to be holding on by a thread and the walking-wounded surround us.
As my husband and I drove off this evening, headed for the store, we could see our next-door neighbor’s son sitting in the garage.   He is always there…sitting, just sitting. 
In his late twenties, he has lost most of his hair.  Thin and withered in body, his sunken eyes search.  Life isn’t much fun.  With his mother also ill, there is no one to cook healthy meals for this emaciated soul.
image courtesy
I’m sure he wasn’t prepared for the turn his life took a few years ago when a rare form of cancer took his leg.  The amputation, so severe, left him unable to wear prosthesis, so a single crutch suffices for support.
Little by little, all his friends graduated from high school and went on to college or began families of their own.   With no computer, his best friends now are the television and one small dog named “Lucky.”
Well, it didn’t take a minute, and out of my mouth I heard myself saying, “Let’s pick him up a Strawberry-Banana smoothie from the shopping center and bring it right back to him.”
Randy indicated that it would be two trips.  I shrugged, so we drove through, picked up the smoothie and came right back!   Randy got out and headed for the garage. The day had been hot and was just starting to cool, but that garage was still hot. 
Our neighbor watched, a little startled, as Randy approached, handing him the drink. 
“Say, said Randy, “We thought you might like to have a little treat.”   The kid’s eyes said it all as he enthusiastically received this little bit of an indulgence that most of us take for granted.
Possibly a little inconvenient, but it wasn’t really too difficult to lay our immediate plans aside and follow the inner prompting. 
The Voice of the Holy Spirit is constantly guiding, prodding, directing. If it is going to be ever, then NOW is the time to practice listening to the Voice of the Holy Spirit.  Hearing followed by doing is the full scope of the drill.
Yes, I said drill.  It isn’t always grandiose.  Sometimes the drill is small, like blessing a kid whose hope has been dashed – whose life is dull repetition, full of loneliness. 
God has a way of messing with our comfort zone, but it is to keep us on our toes!
My prayer is that I learn to hear and obey, now, when it is NOT a matter of life-and-death, so that if a situation arises where it is life-and-death, I will be ready.
Besides that, any consolation we bring is actually “leveraged mercy”.  Not only do we get back more than we put in, but we sharpen our skills as servants of The Most High!
image courtesy
This post has been linked with Joan Davis  Sharing His Beauty
This post is also shared at Hazel’s site: 
“Tell Me a True Story”
I do hope you are also enjoying reading as many stories as you can and leaving your comments.